REDENTOR DE LA ROSA posted in Debate Unlimited Forum:
Development from Jimmy Akin: Church’s teaching on contraception is only within marriage.
This development occurred after discussions have been made concerning Pope Benedict XVI’ statement on condoms. I am posting this, not because I consider Akin an authority on this matter, but because Filipino apologists respected him. I also believe that he had read some of my blog posts regarding the Pope’s statements.
Three points I want to share here. Firstly, the use of the sexual faculty outside of marriage [premarital and extra-marital] has always been condemned by the Church as immoral. Secondly, the use of contraception is considered by the Church as intrinsically evil and therefore whether is it practiced within or outside the marriage state it is still immoral. Thirdly, there is no statement by Pope Benedict XVI wherein he allows the use of condom in any circumstances whatsoever. Some people wanted to think so but this is nothing but a misapprehension of what the Pope wrote.
REDENTOR DE LA ROSA RESPONDS:
Point 1 is correct. Point 2 needs to be qualified. The meaning of “Intrinsic evil” is highly specific. What is intrinsically evil is “the use of contraceptives which has an effect of separating the unitive and procreative meaning of sex”. But the procreative and unitive meanings of sex are not present or are irrelevant in sexual intercourse outside marriage. Rape, for instance has no unitive and procreative meaning; hence, the use of contraceptives in rape cases does not fall on that act which the Church considers to be intrinsically evil. Point 3 is debatable. Pope Benedict said that use of condoms in order to prevent HIV infection among prostitutes is a responsible act. The CDF clarification had confirmed the Pope’s words.
HERE IS MY DETAILED COMMENTS:
Point 2 needs to be qualified. The meaning of “Intrinsic evil” is highly specific. What is intrinsically evil is “the use of contraceptives which has an effect of separating the unitive and procreative meaning of sex”. But the procreative and unitive meanings of sex are not present or are irrelevant in sexual intercourse outside marriage. Rape, for instance has no unitive and procreative meaning; hence, the use of contraceptives in rape cases does not fall on that act which the Church considers to be intrinsically evil.”
CCC 2356 says “Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. IT IS ALWAYS AN INTRINSICALLY EVIL ACT.” Rape violates both the unitive and procreative purpose in the use of the sexual faculties. It violates the unitive purpose since in this case the free consent of another person is being violated and sex is engaged for the purpose of selfish motives and not in total self-giving and irrevocable commitment which can be guaranteed only within marriage. It violates the procreative meaning since God willed that a new life should be brought into this world as a fruit of the loving embrace between man and wife. Intrinsically evil acts are acts which are evil [i.e., contrary to the moral law] in themselves, regardless of the intention or circumstances although the surrounding circumstances may lessen or increase the gravity of the offense. These are acts which may not be directly willed either as an end or as a means [such as direct abortion, killing of an innocent person, rape, use of contraception] and the circumstances or the intention will not change the nature of such acts. Thus even in rape cases, the use of contraception, either as a means or as an end may not be directly willed.
“Point 3 is debatable. Pope Benedict said that use of condoms in order to prevent HIV infection among prostitutes is a responsible act. The CDF clarification had confirmed the Pope’s words.”
RDR is correct in saying that indeed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already issued a clarification of the controversial words of the Pope. The document is titled: “On the Trivialization of Sexuality: Regarding Certain Interpretations of ‘Light of the World.’” Pope Benedict XVI is a very learned theologian and in his writings there are many parts which are difficult to understand “that the unwise and the unlearned twist to their destruction” (2 Peter 3:16) to use the words of St Peter in regard the writings of St Paul. This is precisely what happened in regard the Pope’s statement as CDF put forward in the opening paragraph: “The thought of the Pope has been repeatedly manipulated for ends and interests which are entirely foreign to the meaning of his words.” If we proceed to the alleged permissibility of the use of condom in the prevention of the spread of HIV, CDF has this to say: “In this situation, THE HOLY FATHER CLEARLY AFFIRMS THAT THE PROVISION OF CONDOMS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ‘THE REAL OR MORAL SOLUTION’ TO THE PROBLEM OF AIDS.” Finally, on the words in questions CDF explains: “In this context, however, it cannot be denied that anyone who uses a condom in order to diminish the risk posed to another person is intending to reduce the evil connected with his or her immoral activity. In this sense the Holy Father points out that the use of a condom “with the intention of reducing the risk of infection, can be a first step in a movement towards a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality.” Thus, what the Holy Father wanted to point out is that those people who though engaging in promiscuous activities and regard other people as objects of pleasure to satisfy their lusts, if they use condom in order to reduce the risk posed to the other, in a sense they still adhere to a certain good in them [that in respecting the life of another] and this can be the starting point towards realizing the true worth and dignity of the human person. In this situation, the person performing the act is aware of the evil of his actions but only wanted to lessen its gravity however this does not change the intrinsic evil in the nature of such acts and therefore cannot be directly willed.